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Accepted Paper:

Learning by digging - Mapping is sharing! Reflecting maps, mappings and manuals created in dialogue with urban community gardens.  


Severin Halder (kollektiv orangotango)

Paper short abstract:

This scholar activism reflects on counter-cartographies in the context of community gardens. It offers insights into how map(ping)s and DIY-mapping materials (f.ex. "This Is Not an Atlas") can contribute to a geographical alphabetization that fosters a commons-based rural-urban relationship.

Paper long abstract:

This research is generated from activism rooted in urban gardens (Allmende-Kontor network) and counter-cartographic education (kollektiv orangotango). Our collective mappings in Europe and Latin America are generating, in a ludic way, map(ping)s on different scales: from how to organize a community garden, to finding allies for an alternative regional food system and finally sharing cartographic skills in a way, that enable a mapping of commons-based rural-urban relationships. The results of these mappings vary from collective scribble maps to elaborated (online) maps of all the community gardens in a city like Berlin. But even more important is the educational aspect, which is a collective process of geographical alphabetization in spaces of everyday action (Halder 2018). This means also making mapping knowledge accessible and learning to read maps critically. Based on this educational approach, we published DIY-materials like manuals and tutorial videos as well as a book which is Not-an-Atlas but a global collection of counter-cartographies. Not-an-Atlas features projects like 596acres from New York, which makes the potential urban commons visible and actionable or a DIY-balloon mapping manual used to find a place to garden in a refugee camp in Libanon (kollektiv orangotango+ 2018). This research analyses (learning) processes which are connected to the formation and the dissemination of these map(ping)s. The analysis is divided into an engagement with the political goals of our activist practices, as well as a methodological reflection of our action research.

Panel MA01a
Mapping the Edible City: Making visible communities and food spaces in the city